For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. 1 Corinthians 5:12-13a NASB
I was reading a Facebook post from a friend the other day about the importance of not judging others. My friend said it was important to love and accept others unconditionally like Christ did. While there is some truth to this, there is one distinction that needs to be made: judgment is not the same as condemnation.
The definition of judgment is “the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.” Condemnation on the other hand means “to express very strong disapproval; censure.” (Merriam Webster Dictionary)
We don’t have to win God’s approval; He already loves us as we are! But judgment can be a good thing when we help others make good decisions about the actions that will affect their lives.
Here are three reasons why judgment is a good thing:
It helps us to see the error of our ways: It is difficult for us to see our sin as damaging to our overall well being. For example, King David had engaged in sinful behavior, adultery, murder, etc. but had convinced himself what he was doing was ok. The prophet Nathan spoke truth when no one else did. As a result, David repented from his sin and was able to lead his people effectively. We help others achieve repentance too.
It makes us more like Christ: Christ calls His church the bride. He desires for His people to be spotless and radiate His beauty upon His return. When we speak the truth into other’s lives, we become better disciples as a result.
It restores the church’s voice in society: the more Christians are known as being good decision makers, the more we can be the moral compass society needs to navigate the world towards salvation.
Condemnation was overcome at the cross. But judgment helps us make informed decisions that benefit not only our lives, but the lives of others too.
Lord, help us to speak the truth to others in love so they can make good decisions.